'Chiranjeevi garu has always been my inspiration'
...says entrepreneur-turned-actor Raman, who makes his acting debut with Reddy Gari Intlo Rowdyism, as he talks about preparing himself for a long-haul in Telugu cinema
Real estate entrepreneur Raman has turned lead actor with a romantic action entertainer titled Reddy Gari Intlo Rowdyism. "It's a triangular love story that revolves around a young man named Shiva, who comes to the city from a village to pursue his graduation. It's a story that everyone can relate to," begins Raman.
The debutant, who hails from Brahmamgari Matam, Kadapa, recollects being interested in acting since he was in school. "I was an avid movie-buff from childhood and I always looked up to Chiranjeevi garu as my inspiration. When I was in tenth standard, I came to Hyderabad to try my luck as an actor, but nothing worked out. I realised that acting is something we can do at any time; all we need is money to chase our dreams. Now that I have become a successful entrepreneur, the interest was rekindled. Besides playing the lead, I am also bankrolling this film under Siri Movies Banner," he says, adding that the film was shot in Hyderabad, Kuppam, and Goa. "The film has five songs and four action sequences. We wrapped up the shoot in just 48 days."
Raman reveals that he did a short acting course at Satyam Yabi Acting School that helped him learn the basics of the craft. About the industry's reaction to him, he says, "People are really welcoming and I am getting encouragement from everyone. I must say I am indeed lucky to have got such a heartwarming reception."
Since he was determined to do the film and prove himself, Raman balanced his business with his movie schedules. "Being an actor is a major driving force in my life now. I have no godfather in the industry and I am prepared for the long-haul," he says.
Films with titles that reference a caste or a community have stoked a range of controversies in the past. However, Raman is not worried about his film landing him in trouble. "Reddy Gari Intlo Rowdyism is a meticulously-crafted title and it doesn't portray a community in a negative light. Neither the title nor the character will hurt the sentiments of a community. You will get a better understanding after watching our movie," says Raman.
The film also marks the Telugu debut of Varsha Viswanath, niece of yesteryear actor Vani Viswanath. "Varsha is a passionate actor and she was warm, friendly and humble with no starry airs. She will be seen as a college student named Mahi," Raman tells us, and adds that veteran actor Vinod Kumar has played a negative role in this film. "Vinod Kumar will be seen as Varsha's father and he has played this kind of role for the first time; there is some negativity to the character too. He said it was a lot of fun playing a negative character. Working with Vinod Kumar has been a great learning experience and his knowledge as an actor came in handy for us."
Before signing off, Raman reveals that Reddy Gari Intlo Rowdyism is just the beginning as he still has some surprises up his sleeve. "I have signed a horror film, which is being made on a pan-Indian scale in five languages (Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and English). It is being helmed by a foreign director and is mounted on a budget of Rs 65 crore. I also have two other films in the pipeline in my home production and one of them will reunite me with Varsha Viswanath."